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Courts require valid reasons for modifying visitation rights

If you are a divorced parent and your ex has visitation rights, the two of you will be interacting as long as your custody agreement is in effect. Hopefully, you have found ways to peacefully coexist. But unfortunately, some divorced couples continue to have problems well after the final decree is signed. And perhaps you are at serious odds with your child's other parent, and you want nothing more than to modify the custody agreement to limit or eliminate his or her visitation rights.

Before you start filing papers with the court, you need to understand a couple of things. First, what specific reason do you have for wanting the modification? It isn't enough if you believe your ex doesn't respect you or is a bad influence on your child.

What matters is if there has been some change in your circumstances since you agreed to the custody terms. Your ex may be driving you crazy, but if there has been no change in your situation, the court is not likely to grant a modification.

On the other hand, if your ex has started engaging in activities that are detrimental to your child's well-being, then a modification may be possible. For example, if your ex is drinking to excess or using drugs in the child's presence, a judge may allow a modification. Likewise, if your ex is subjecting the child to emotional or physical abuse, the court will likely find a modification is necessary.

But again, it is not enough to simply say there is a problem; you will have to provide proof. For this reason, if you believe that it is in your child's best interests to have the conditions of your custody agreement altered, you may need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you demonstrate that you have valid concerns and that your parenting agreement should be changed.

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